Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, each received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning. They both received the Moderna vaccine, Harris said.
Harris received the shot in front of cameras; similar to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Vice President Mike Pence, President-elect Joe Biden and other lawmakers and leaders earlier this month.
Afterward, Harris declared, "that was easy!" as the nurse finished up.
"I trust the scientists. It’s the scientists who created and approved this vaccine," Harris told reporters after receiving the vaccine. "When it is your turn, get vaccinated. It’s about saving lives. The lives of your community and your family."
When asked about feelings of distrust in the Black community over taking the vaccine, Harris talked about the community clinics and health care facilities that will be giving the vaccine.
"There are facilities in every community," she said. "They have trusted sources of health, and that’s where they will be able to go to get the vaccine." Harris said these community facilities are likely where someone's kids were born, or their neighbor works, or where their relative was treated, and have nurses and doctors on staff that are familiar to the community.
Minority communities are more likely on surveys to indicate they are skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine, many point to controversial social experiments and government science programs in the past that were focused on them.
A spokesperson said Biden and Harris staggered their vaccinations at the recommendation of medical experts. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccine require two doses give a few weeks apart and are about 94% effective.
The advisory panel that recommended both vaccines for emergency use authorization from the FDA had discussed the recommendation of staggering vaccinations among colleagues on the same team, such as a team of doctors or nurses, to prevent having them all suffer side effects at the same time. Side effects include headache, fever, and muscle soreness.
President Donald Trump has not received the first dose of the vaccine at this time. White House officials have said he will get one when it is recommended by the president’s medical team. An official told CNN the president is still receiving the protective benefits of the monoclonal antibody cocktail he was given after testing positive for COVID-19 in October.
On Monday, the CDC reported more than 2 million Americans had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and about 10 million doses have been distributed around the country.